According to a release from Frontier Communications, dialing 811 connects callers to the Underground Service Alert call center, which operates 24 hours a day.
Professional locators visit the site of the planned digging work to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags and spray paint within 24 hours.
The service is free.
Denise Sperle is the local manager at Frontier Communications, which provides phone and Internet services to Patterson services.
“After a long winter, people are eager to be outside and start projects,” Sperle stated in the release, “but before doing so, we ask them to take a minute to call 811 and request a utility locate.”
Utilities companies from Northern California and Nevada run the nonprofit hotline to inform people about where power and communication lines are sometimes buried and where it is safe to dig.
Striking an underground utility line can cause significant injury and damage and result in repair costs, fines and utility outages, according to a release by Frontier Communications.
The company recommends calling before digging for any reason — to install a mailbox, build a deck, move a road, plant a tree or lay a patio.
The depth of utility lines varies depending on the season depending on the moisture content of the soil and due to erosion. It also can be changed based upon previous digging projects and uneven surfaces, Sperle stated in the release.
Digging even a few inches carries the risk of striking an underground utility line, she stated.